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All Periods Are PMS
"PMS isn't real Needy, it was invented by the boy-run media to make us seem like we're crazy."
Jennifer, Jennifer's Body

Pre-menstrual syndrome (PMS) refers to the physical and mental effects of hormone changes in females of childbearing years. Those effects can include depression, tender breasts, food cravings, bloating, fatigue, mood swings, constipation or diarrhea, and irritability. The Mayo Clinic estimates that three out of four women between puberty and menopause will have some form of PMS.

If a fictional work decides to avert No Periods, Period, though, forget about the 25% who don't suffer any ill effects. The only effect of PMS will be irritability, and every menstruating woman will suffer from it.

Occasionally, a work will use a different effect of PMS. However, the only significance of these will be to make the character irritable. Cramps are good for this, especially considering that 3-7 days of pain will make just about anyone cranky. Bloating might show up so the character can complain about her clothes not fitting. You won't see food cravings, though, as they're associated with pregnancy — unless the writers are trying to throw a curveball.

For the supernatural version, see Menstrual Menace.

Examples:

Anime & Manga
  • Averted in Seitokai Yakuindomo. Though the girls do complain about menstrual cramps, their personalities seem unaffected.
  • Played to good effect in the Gunslinger Girl anime when Triela suffers from her period. She has intense cramps and implied nausea, made worse by the fact that she is forbidden pain killers by the Agency because of her conditioning. The irritation arises naturally when her pain is compounded by the attitude of her handler and their target.
  • In Neon Genesis Evangelion, Asuka is not amused of having periods every months, and adding to the fact, that Shinji has surpassed her, she's even in a worse mood than she is usual.

Comic Books
  • In the Sisterhood Of Steel graphic novel, Boronwe: Daughter of Death, Boronwe's friend and roomate Dindra is bitching about her period while they're playing a board game. Boronwe sardonically asks why it is that Dindra seems to suffer the worst cramps whenever she's losing the game but is perfectly fine when she's winning.

Fan Fic

Film
  • I'm Gonna Git You Sucka. While working at the diner, Cheryl tells a fellow waitress that "It's my time" (of the month) and she has cramps. When Leonard tries to kidnap her, she asks him to leave her alone but he persists. She then turns into a character out of The Exorcist (Blank White Eyes, giant Afro, growling voice).
    Leonard: You must got the Devil in you!
    Cheryl: No! Cramps! [Slams him up against a wall] I asked you nicely, now I'm going to rip your balls off!
  • In 10 Things I Hate About You, Katerina's father calls her out on this, after she dents his car in a bout of anger: "My insurance policy does not cover PMS!"
  • In Carnage, Jodie Foster's character can be seen stashing a package of tampons out-of-sight when she's bringing a guest to her apartment's bathroom. Her emotional fragility during the events of the movie can be at least partially attributed to PMS.
  • Used as a throwaway gag in Mystery Men. One of the candidates during the Terrible Interviewees Montage calls herself the "PMS Avenger" and warns the group that she can only work a few days out of the month.

Literature
  • Averted in The Red Tent. Although the women all menstruate at more-or-less the same time (Jacob's wives start first, with servants starting a few days later) around the New Moon, and they are secluded (partly because of Jewish laws labeling menstruating women as "unclean", and partly so they can conduct certain religious rituals without any objections), they don't seem to experience adverse symptoms aside from perhaps a little tiredness. It's a restful time, and the women literally celebrate this chance of renewal with offerings to Inanna, socializing, cakes (more like cookies or scones), and fine wine.
  • A nice scene in the Protector of the Small quartet averts this as Kel and her friend/maid discuss what happens during your period. While it does mention that some women do get overly angry, others might just get a little weepy or desire sweets. In the next book, a brief mention is made of Kel having her period and crying over a very bad day when she otherwise wouldn't.

Live-Action TV
  • At least one episode of My Wife and Kids centres around this, with Michael's wife and teenage daughter both having extreme PMS at the same time.
  • Referenced on Buffy the Vampire Slayer, when Willow is consoling her boyfriend Oz, who we've just learned is a werewolf.
    For a few days a month, I'm not so fun to be around, either.
  • A sketch on SCTV was about "PMS Awareness Week."
  • There have been multiple jokes in The Big Bang Theory where Penny snaps at Sheldon and he comments that she must be on her period.
  • Roseanne episode "PMS, I Love You". When Roseanne gets PMS she pretty much goes crazy, with wild mood swings. This causes terror in the members of her family. Oddly though, her issues with this time of the month are never brought up again after this episode.
    • In the same episode, Roseanne's friend Crystal, who is most often the kindest, sweetest, most naive and most Woobie-ish of the cast (if a little neurotic,) mentioned how even she becomes a complete she-beast during her time of the month, saying once she went around and broke a streetlight for every man who did her wrong; Dan called it the "Great Blackout of '84."
    • In an episode where Roseanne revealed she missed her period and is afraid she might be pregnant again, Jackie asked how she managed it when she's always so horribly mean and angry during her time of the month that everyone would've noticed. She gleefully reveals she faked her PMS that month, and even tacked on an extra day for the hell of it.
  • Referenced in an episode of Maude when she runs for State Senate. One of her staffers (who isn't a staffer for very long) says that women are unfit for public office because of their mood swings.
  • Sorta referenced in one episode of Sliders where the land on an Earth (or at least a US) with a Matriarchal Society. One local guy they talk to says that a Patriarcal Society wouldn't work, in part because women only get mood swings once a month and men have them all the time.
  • In Commander In Chief, Geena Davis scornfully suggests that the reason men worry about a female president is: "once a month, will she or won't she push the button?"
  • Played for laughs on Saturday Night Live in a fake commercial for a pill called "Annuale," which lets a woman have her period once a year, apparently turns women into menstrual menaces (one attacks her co-workers with an ax, a second scarfs down an entire birthday cake at a children's party, a third kicks her husband in the crotch, punches him in the face, and runs screaming out the room, and a fourth French-kisses a dog). There's even a Side Effects Include... warning near the end that states that these once-a-year periods should be told to authorities in advance so officials can lock any woman who takes Annuale up like the Wolfman.
  • Everybody Loves Raymond features Debra going near-psychotic when she's on her period, yelling and arguing at Ray for even less reason than normal. Ray eventually tapes her rants and plays them back to her as a form of revenge and proof that she's being unreasonable... at which point she goes full-on "weepy PMSing woman" and poor Ray's forced to backtrack. It was basically head writer Phil Rosenthal's apology/explanation to his wife.
  • "The Camping Trip" episode of Married... with Children (originally titled "A Period Piece," but the censors objected, despite the fact that Married With Children never showed episode titles onscreen) dealt with Marcy, Peg, and Kelly having their cycles sync up while in a cabin with Steven, Al, and Bud. Hilarity Ensues, and probably contributed to the Crowning Moment of Funny line in Anchorman, as their periods attract all sorts of wildlife... including bears.
  • An episode of 30 Rock has Liz wondering why people think her show is demeaning to women. We then see a series of the show's sketches about illustrious women losing it because they are having their periods. Later exaggerated with Avery—she goes from understanding and sensible to wild the second her period started.
    "YOU STUPID DOUCHE!!!"
  • On an episode of Modern Family, all three of the Dunphy women get their periods at the same time, terrifying Phil. Luke, terrorized, yells that they're all "monsterating." They then turn their wrath on Phil for giving Luke that mindset.
  • In the sketch comedy show, Touch Me, I'm Karen Taylor, Karen invented the super-heroine Pre-Menstrual Girl, who is the alter ego of normally pleasant and cheerful office worker Penelope. When trouble arises her super-power kicks in: she alters her body-clock and transforms into Pre-Menstrual Girl, a superheroine who saves peoples' lives, either by winning the villain's heart with her neurotic sobbing, or terrifying him into bludgeoned submission by screaming, being aggressive, and sniping.
  • In an episode of The IT Crowd, Jen has a "visit from Aunt Irma" that makes her so irritable that she screams with the Voice of the Legion. To make matters worse, Roy and Moss start having the same symptoms as though their cycles are synchronizing, even though they're men.

Music

Newspaper Comics
  • Sara from Zits has two turtles; Peaches and Mordoc, Lord of Unholy Fury. Named during different times of the month.

Real Life
  • Most viral posts on Tumblr that are about periods tend to focus entirely on the most extreme cases of menstruation and PMS. They almost never even mention individuals who don't suffer much (if at all) from the side effects, much less the people who get periods but don't have the PMS that's presumed to go hand in hand with it. Outside of that, however, it's very important to note that the posts themselves are rarely hyperbolic in regards to what the extreme cases are like for those who do experience them, unless it's being exaggerated for comedic purposes. Indeed, almost all of the viral posts are written by members who do suffer from the more extreme symptoms of PMS and periods, and if they just so happen to be female only in terms of biology, the frustration with their circumstances only gets worse. Many of the posts are also written and/or drawn in response to people telling them that periods aren't a big deal and that they should "stop overreacting", so the members are very likely to believe that mentioning the exceptions would only serve to weaken their argument.

Video Games
  • This is the only way to tell that Terraria averts No Periods, Period. Most of the female NPCs become rather irritable during a Blood Moon.

Webcomics
  • How Kyo'nne of Drowtales, who is a drow, a species that doesn't get periods, explains what a period is to another drow, when her human companion is on their period.
  • Code Name: Hunter: Ruby suffers from some of this just before the Treaty Night event.
  • Sinfest occasionally highlights the PMS cramps/cravings of Monique, its single human female character.
  • This xkcd, though the woman suffering PMS is grumpy less because of her condition and more because her boyfriend takes the time to crack a bad pun.
  • Parodied in this animated webcomic. One girl is visited by a personification of periods and is swiftly punched in the crotch. Her friend sitting nearby just gets some affectionate slaps, and thus is in no pain at all when her period occurs.

Web Original
  • Fem Fortress, a fan-video of Team Fortress 2 that swaps out the male voices for female ones (but not the models, oddly enough). Everyone on the team goes on their period at the same time, and are unable to fight. Except the Pyro.

Western Animation
  • Played with in the 6teen episode "Enter the Dragon" where the girls' cycles sync up. Caitlin does have PMS, but Jen has cramps and Nikki becomes overly needy.

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